Greg Rasmussen, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe | April 26, 2017 -12h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão





African Painted Dogs are the sole representative of a unique evolutionary line some 5 million year old and at the turn of the twentieth century the population was estimated to be at least 500,000 spread across the continent of Africa. Tragically due to prejudice against predators and misunderstanding of their important role in ecosystems, like the wolf they were falsely labelled as ruthless stock killers and were indiscriminately slaughtered to the verge of extinction. Today no more than 5-6000 survive in the wild with only 3000 of these living in protected areas.
Painted dogs are one of the most uniquely social species that take care of their old and sick and are one of the few species not to resort to conflict. This presentation will not only share some of the fascinating and unique biology of this enigmatic canid , but the challenges and creative conservation efforts needed, to not only keep the species alive , but help it grow.


Greg Rasmussen is a Research Associate and part time Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. He is also affiliated with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University in the UK where he completed his PhD. He has a diverse range of research interests with his most recent interests being trans-boundary conservation. In 1989 he started researching the endangered painted dog (Lycaon pictus). During those early days he had a vision for an all-encompassing conservation project that dealt with ecological as well as socioeconomic issues that impinged on painted dogs. With this vision, he founded Painted Dog Conservation NGO for the protection of the painted dogs and their habitat, that engaged and incorporated local communities in protecting painted dogs in Zimbabwe. Recently (2014), he founded the Painted Dog Research Trust to focus on new bold conservation visions. These include the birth of a field based conservation ecology centre to inspire and train tomorrow's generation of conservationists.


[Host: Raquel Godinho, Conservation Genetics and Wildlife Management]


Image credits: Greg Rasmussen